The following is a conversation that Cade and I had on the way home from church this Sunday:
Cade: Why doesn’t God just kill Satan?
Me: Well, pretend Satan was standing in front of you with a plate of cookies and he said, “take one.” But you said, “No, I don’t want your cookies, Satan. God is going to give me cookies that are way yummier than those. I can’t see God’s cookies yet, but I want to wait for them.” And then Satan gets really mad, because he was kind of having a contest. He wanted you to pick his cookies to show he’s better than God.
Now, suppose some people were watching you say this to Satan. What would those people think about God and Satan?
Cade: They would think God is better than Satan because I picked his cookies.
Me: Would God like it that you waited for his cookies?
Cade: Yes, because then everyone thinks he’s better than Satan.
Me: But, what if God killed Satan. There would be no more contest. Satan wouldn’t be there with his plate of cookies. Now, you could still say to the people watching, “I’ll wait for God’s cookies.” But without the contest, does God look just as great?
Cade: No. But, Mommy. Does Satan really have cookies?
Me: Well, Satan’s cookies are kind of like sin. Satan holds out sin to us like a plate of cookies. He tells us it will taste good. He wants us to sin, because if we pick his ways, he thinks it shows that he has won the contest with God. But when we say no to sin, we show that we think God’s ways will make us happiest.
Cade: I want to make God win the contest.
Me: Me, too!